Five Podcasts You Should Listen To
by Angela Dahl (@AngelaDahling)
Friends! Romans! Nerds! Lend me your ears, and allow me to pour some podcasty goodness in them. I’ve been on a podcast kick since installing an auxiliary cord in my car, which has probably been the single most life-changing act I’ve done in my life thus far. Here are some of the podcasts that I’ve been enjoying with my newfound auxiliary freedom.
1. StarTalk Radio Show with Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk podcast is like having a really cool professor talk about science in an understandable way by relating it to pop culture. For example, the most recent podcast discussed the zombie apocalypse along with viral infections. In the breaks, excerpts of songs are played that cleverly fall under the theme (I was sold when during the first episode I listened to I heard a Backstreet Boys song). And you learn so many awesome facts that you can throw into any conversation. There’s nothing like walking into a room and shouting, “You guys, DID YOU KNOW THAT THE SUN MOVES?!” It moves. The Earth rotates on its axis, revolves around the Sun, while the Sun is hauling our solar system through space. Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Neil deGrasse Tyson is a mindblower, and he always blows you hard.
2) The Moth Radio Hour
If you’re more of a bookish language nerd than a mathy science nerd, or if you just love stories, you may want to take a listen to The Moth. The Moth, a public radio show, features true stories that are being told live, without notes or cue cards. Knowing that they are true makes them all the more interesting and touching, so if you’re driving be careful because your tears may get you in a car accident. If someone’s story is selected for The Moth, they are quite good and engaging, so there are usually humorous touches. So you probably won’t get into any car accidents. But you’ve been warned.
Dan Harmon, creator of Community, and Jeff Davis, of Whose Line, run this town. If you’re like me and are obsessed with Community and have been obsessed with Jeff Davis since Whose Line and even watched his show that aired on the WB for two months in 2003, you’re gonna love Harmontown. Harmontown is recorded live in front of an audience every week in the NerdMelt showroom at Meltdown Comics. It’s called Harmontown because it’s meant to be like a town hall meeting, and there are some great nerds that show up. Harmon and Davis discuss issues from current news events to what’s currently happening at Dan Harmon’s house, bring in audience members for questions/stories, bring in special guests, and always end with a D&D game. It’s worth listening to, and if you’re in the LA area, it’s definitely worth going to.
4) The Nerdist
The Nerdist podcast was my first podcast, and it was everything I hoped for in a magical prom night kind of way. Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, and Matt Mira interview comedians, musicians, actors, public figures, etc. and inevitably find something nerdy in all of them. It’s very conversational and natural sounding, and you feel like you’re just listening in to a conversation that cool people are having. And you get to eavesdrop on these conversations about three times a week, which is pretty amazing for a podcast. In case you were wondering if instant happiness exists, it does, and it happens when you hear Chris Hardwick laugh.
In need of some inspiration while stuck in rush hour traffic on the 5? TEDTalks is here for you. The podcast takes the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks from their conferences/events and uploads these “ideas worth spreading” to stream into your ears. The speakers from the worlds of technology, entertainment, and design give talks based on their experiences. There is a wide range of topics, from education and creativity to climate change and dinosaurs. When you’ve had a bad day at work and want to punch everyone on the freeway, this is a reassurance that there’s something out there that’s worth making it to the end of rush hour.
Any other podcast suggestions, guys?